Temple appeared to be heading toward a disappointing draw with a minute left in double overtime when disaster struck and Memphis struck smash and grab style to take all three points and hand the Owls their second straight conference loss Wednesday afternoon.
“When we look at the video, there’s going to moments are teachable and moments that are cringeworthy,” head coach Brian Rowland said after the 2-1 loss. “There’s going to be a lot of positives, or close to positives, of how we were able to dominate that game apart from the scoreboard. I think we are going to have to recognize there are areas to improve, but we certainly understand that on another day that game could’ve been different.”
The Owls defense conceded a first half goal for the third straight time and after clawing their way back with a Mike Eijgendaal goal in the 71st minute they looked the more likely team to grab three points in regulation.
Sean Karani nearly ended it with seconds remaining in regulation when he was played in on the break but Memphis keeper Yannik Oettl came up with the game-saving stop to set up an eventual dramatic finish for the visitors.
Temple was so close to winning it at the end of regulation on this play yesterday. Tough break for them losing in OT to Memphis. pic.twitter.com/FRtoY6XL8l— Matt Ralph (@MattRalph_tBG) February 24, 2021
Temple was trying to clear the danger from a Memphis free kick when a second ball fell to the feet of Caden Wells and he flicked a looping ball to Luke Kelly. Kelly struck quickly and was able to tuck the ball inside the near post out of the reach of a diving Nikolas Hartmaan, who had five saves on the day.
The Owls fell to 1-2-0 on the season ahead of a rematch with South Florida, who they came from behind to beat 3-2 to open the season in Florida. The match will be broadcast live Saturday night at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.